The Man Who Would Be King: Hamilton Chasing History

Philip Boeckman Formula one 2018 Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton may have lost out to Sebastian Vettel's and Ferrari's genius strategy under a VSC last Sunday at Melbourne, but make no mistake that the Briton is seeking to put himself into the pantheon of driving greats this year.

If there is one thing that is certain this season, it's that we're going to see either Lewis Hamilton or Sebastian Vettel crowned a five-time world champion.

It seems incredibly unlikely that anyone other than those two will challenge for the world title this year, let alone claim the championship, unless one of Kimi Raikonnen, Valterri Bottas or Daniel Ricciardo produce a once-in-a-lifetime season. 

Hamilton, in his super-charged Mercedes that looks every bit as dominant as it has been for the past five years, seems the more likelier than Vettel to record world title number 5. Despite Ferrari's win last weekend, the German team showed during pre-season testing, in qualifying and half of the race on Sunday that they will be the pace-setters this year. 

The driver himself is also in his peak years. He can make something out of absolutely nothing, regardless of the conditions or circumstances. Whereas Vettel requires the ideal set-up and conditions to go his way, Hamilton has the steely determination to drag himself over the line this year.

His response last season to Nico Rosberg's exhausting tussle to win the 2016 Drivers' title was magnificent, and at times he barely looked like he was pushing third gear.

This isn't to undo Sebastian Vettel's pedigree; the German is a living legend in the sport in his own right. His four titles claimed on the trot will unlikely be matched for another generation, whilst his dominance when at Red Bull and guided by Adrian Newey rivals that of Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff. 

Entering his third year at Ferrari, Vettel is yet to set the world alight for the Scuderia. For a man who dreams of emulating his hero, Michael Schumacher, in the glistening red of the Ferrari, the driver himself would be the first to admit he's not lived up to his expectations.

If he can somehow steal the crown away from Hamilton this year, in a car that is clearly inferior, albeit not by much, it'd be the biggest achievement of his career and would rightly put him up there with the greatest of the greats. 

Nonetheless, there's a look about Lewis Hamilton to suggest he is fully committed to claiming title number five and adding his name to the shortlist of three or four drivers largely considered to the be the greatest of all time. If he was to do so in 2018, it'd be a fitting tribute to a man who grew up idolising Ayrton Senna, perhaps the greatest who never lived.

Philip Boeckman

Huge fan of @F1 and Motor Racing in general. I blog about anything and everything from the world of Formula 1